A Resolution and a Bill on Behalf of Motorcyclists
The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) reports that members of the House and Senate Congressional Motorcycle Caucus- Reps. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-Texas), Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.)- have introduced a bicameral resolution to officially designate and recognize the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
The April 30 joint release from the caucuses states: “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month promotes rider safety, education, licensing, and awareness in order to decrease the number of crashes. Motorcycles help to reduce congestion, are fuel-efficient, and have little impact on transportation infrastructure. Motorcycle awareness is beneficial to everyone on the road.” We couldn’t agree more.
Streets are crowded, drivers are distracted. Photo by AMA
Legislation has also been introduced in the 117th Congress reauthorizing the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, last co-chaired by AMA Director of Government Relations Michael Sayre.
H.R. 2141, The Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization, is bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.). It seeks to reauthorize the MAC for six years and expand membership on the council to include more motorcyclist voices and transportation officials.
The MAC is the only official forum for the motorcycling community to have an open dialogue with the U.S. Department of Transportation to discuss concerns about infrastructure design, issues with intelligent transportation systems and other areas of safety affecting motorcyclists on the road. This is a very positive move on our behalf.
Too much of this, not enough on just driving. Photo by AMA
Launched by the AMA in the early 1980s, May’s annual “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” campaign and its message have been adopted by many AMA-sanctioned clubs, state motorcycle-rights organizations, the motorcycle industry and government entities across America, and has even been adopted in other countries.
“For almost 40 years, the AMA has promoted motorcycle awareness in May because, as the weather warms in large parts of the country, riders take to the road in increasing numbers to enjoy the thrill of riding, the practicality of commuting and the beauty of our natural surroundings,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “We urge other road users to be alert to the presence of motorcycles on city, urban and rural streets and highways,” he stated.
Ride safe, ride aware. Photo by AMA
The AMA has long sought to urge and educate motorists to be especially aware of conditions around them, maintain a safe distance when following motorcycles, check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and pay particular attention when making left turns across traffic. Road Dirt editor Rob knows that hazard firsthand, having been hit and hospitalized by a distracted left-turner some 20 years ago.
“The safety of motorcyclists is the AMA’s top priority and, increasingly, distracted driving and over-reliance on driver-assistance technology are worrisome,” AMA’s Dingman said.
Driver-assistance technologies are appearing on many new cars and SUVs, such as adaptive cruise control, automated braking and lane-keeping assist. While these technologies hold promise to reduce crashes, drivers must not become complacent when these systems are engaged.
Each year, the AMA tracks bills in state legislatures across the country that address the issue of distracted driving. Examples of activities that take the driver’s focus off driving include talking or texting, eating and drinking, and adjusting entertainment or navigation system controls. In this high-tech, hand-held world, the dangers are more prevalent than ever for us motorcyclists.
For more on the AMA and their initiatives, click here: